ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Terrorism and Human Rights: Indian Experience with Repressive Laws

Terrorism is growing and no amount of power in terms of the use of force and severity of punishment has been helpful in containing it. This paper examines the ways that the Indian State has been responding to these challenges and scrutinises the experience over six decades of the use of repressive laws and their impact on the very notion of unrestrained freedom which a liberal state is supposed to guarantee.

T he contemporary world is experiencing many unusual movements including the so-called terrorist acts emanating from worldwide unrest. There is an intense debate on these eruptions and ways and means to deal with this rapidly changing alarming global context. The central anxiety regarding these movements is that those who are questioning or challenging the system are armed and do believe in using force to win their point. The state maintains that the ordinary laws meant for regulating the public affairs are not adequate as most of these laws assume a normal society with citizens whose conduct is broadly in conformity with the laws of the land. In fact it is widely believed, certainly with an element of truth, that the laws arise from consensus, if not individual consent of every citizen. The state being responsible for governance derives its power from the laws of the land. Every law confers powers on the State but also limits the power so that power does not become tyrannical. The laws also dene the rights and freedoms of citizenry through which their relation with the state is determined. It has been the worldwide experience that it is in the very nature of the state to transgress the limits of the law. In case of citizens at least some sections of the citizenry, there is a tendency to use freedoms to the extent of challenging the very legitimacy of the state. It is, therefore, a civilisational question that how a balance is struck between these two powerful tendencies without abandoning the project of transformation of the human society into a more e quitable, peaceful, fair, just and humane global order.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 236

(Readers in India)

$ 12

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.